Fort Carson Fire has Scorched 1,200 Acres, Will Continue to Burn

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire and Emergency Services Team members assist the Fort Carson Fire Department with a range fire Jan. 29, 2016 at The Mountain Post. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire and Emergency Services Team members assist the Fort Carson Fire Department with a range fire Jan. 29, 2016 at The Mountain Post. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A range fire that scorched 1,200 acres at Fort Carson over the weekend will keep on burning, officials said.

Still 80 percent contained as of Monday afternoon, the fire will be left to burn in the designated area, which is surrounded by fire lines, spokeswoman Dani Johnson said.

She added that one fire unit will continue to monitor the area but officials hope cool weather that started Monday evening will put out the fire.

"Because where it's at, the terrain is so rough ... the best avenue is to just let it burn," Johnson said.

The fire near the Turkey Creek Recreation area did not threaten any structures or the community, Johnson said.

But some residents did worry.

Cindy Heer, who lives near the area, said she watched the smoke and flames from her front window. The sight took her back to 2008, when flames reached Highway 115 and she had to evacuate, she said.

"The trees burst up in flames like a torch when they burn," Heer said. "We could see flames crawling against the ground."

Flames were the result of a live fire operation Saturday involving the Marine Corps, Johnson said.

The fire came after Colorado Springs was dropped from Red Flag alert during one of the area's hottest, driest, windiest weeks on record. Open flames were discouraged for more than a day last week, but warnings had lifted by the time of the live fire operation.

Fort Carson's Range Control and director of emergency services assessed the conditions and determined it was OK for training, Johnson said.

"What we do is train on our ranges and what we fire is hot," Johnson said. "Because we knew that the grass was a little bit taller than it normally is, we did have firefighters out on scene while they were training."

The change in weather coming overnight Monday into Tuesday may help put out lingering flames.

Temperatures are expected to drop overnight and 1 to 2 inches of rain or snow could fall in the area, according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

"We're really glad for higher relative humidity," Johnson said.

The latest fire was in a different training area than two others reported on post in recent weeks.

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